Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

represents a woman with her left hand clasping an infant in her lap. One
foot rests on an elaborately-ornamented stool, the other is doubled under her
body. There are five small accessory figures, one in front and two on either
side at the hack.
Between this mound and Jamalpur Is an extensive ridge, which I spent some
days in exploring,, but found nothing of interest. The most likely place in this
immediate neighbourhood that yet remains to he examined is a mound at the
back of the jail and within its outer precincts. I brought away one figure
from it. Close by is an enormous pit out of which earth was taken to con-
struct the mud walls of the enclosure. As this is objectionable from a sanitary
point of view as well as unsightly, prison labour might with advantage be
employed in levelling the mound and using the earth to fill up the pit; by which
means two objects would be obtained.
.After my transfer from the district, the Jamalpur mound, which had
so often been explored before with valuable results, was completely levelled^
at a cost of Es. 7,236, the work having been sanctioned by Government
as a famine relief operation. A large number of miscellaneous sculptures
was discovered, of wkich I have received no definite description. But the
more prominent object is a life-size statue of Buddha, which is very finely
executed and, when found, was in excellent preservation, though unfortunately
broken in two pieces by a fracture just above the ankles.* On the base is an
inscription in Pali characters, of which a transcript has been sent me bj
a clever native draughtsman. I decipher it as follows :
" Deyadharmayam Sakya-bhikshu Yasa-dittasya. Yad atra punyam, tad
bhavatu mata-pitroh sukha rya pdddhya, yatam cha sarvva-satv-anuttarajnana-
I have probably misread some of the letters printed in italics, for as they
stand they yield no sense. The remainder I translate as follows ;
" This is the votive offering of the Buddhist monk Yasa-ditta. If there
is any merit in it, may it work for the good of Ms father and mother and
for the propagation of perfect knowlege throughout the world."
* The lace of thla statue was a really beautiful piece of sculpture, of far more artistic
character thau in any other figure that has yet been discovered. However, not the slightest
care was taken to preserve it from injury; and the nose was sooa broken off* either by eom0
bigoted iconoclastic Muhammadau, or by some child in the mere apirit of mischief. The
disfigurement IB irreparable, and that it should hare been allowed to occur is not very creditable
to the local authorities*